GREAT (Gluten-Free Resource Education and Awareness Training) is an educational resource programme developed by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness; their latest module to 'go live' is their training for pharmacists. Given the massive under-diagnosis of coeliac disease in both the US and in Europe, and the ubiquity of starch/gluten fillers and excipients in most pharmaceutical drugs, and training pharmacists to recognise its symptoms seems like an excellent idea. Here are a few details:
Three million Americans have celiac disease, and the only treatment for this life-long ailment is the implementation of a gluten-free diet. As gluten is found in medication, pharmacy care is critical in the treatment of this disorder. Celiac disease is a genetic, autoimmune disease that damages the small intestines and interferes with the absorption of nutrients from food. When people with celiac ingest gluten, the protein in wheat, barley and rye, the whole body is affected causing a myriad of symptoms. This common disease affects one percent of the U.S. population! Another six percent of the population is gluten-intolerant, greatly increasing the number of people needing to follow the gluten-free diet. This continuing education activity will provide pharmacists with a reliable understanding of celiac disease and their role in dealing with gluten-intolerant patients.
Upon completion of this activity, pharmacists will be able to:
• Define the etiology of celiac disease, its prevalence and pathophysiology
• Recognize the signs and symptoms and list major complications of celiac disease
• Identify potential sources of gluten in medication
Describe current United States and international guidelines for labeling gluten in medication
• Discuss ways that pharmacists and pharmaceutical manufacturers can help patients with celiac disease use medicines safely and effectively
To find out more, check in here.
First published July 2011.
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